Milton celebrates Provincial funding announcement for Wilfrid Laurier site

Posted on Wednesday April 18, 2018

The Town of Milton welcomes today’s announcement by the Ontario government giving final approval and financial support to Laurier to expand access to post-secondary education in Milton and the surrounding region.

The provincial commitment of $90 million will help Laurier establish an innovative academic centre of excellence in Milton. Laurier, in partnership with Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, is eager to bring academic programming to this fast-growing community on the west side of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Building on its sector-leading expertise in Science, Technology, Mathematics and the Arts, Laurier’s Milton site will introduce complementary Engineering undergraduate programs linking students to highly skilled STEAM opportunities.

“We are thrilled by today’s news and grateful for the Ontario government’s ongoing investment in post-secondary education,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “Laurier and the Town of Milton have been working towards this goal for more than a decade. I want to thank our municipal colleagues, area residents and our many partners who have worked so hard to bring post-secondary education to this vibrant community.”

Laurier has collaborated with the Town of Milton since 2008 to develop plans for an integrated educational, research, residential and commercial neighbourhood known as the Milton Education Village (MEV).

The future MEV, a 400-acre purpose-built, fully-integrated neighbourhood adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment, will be home to Laurier and Conestoga. At the heart of the MEV is a 150-acre parcel dedicated to higher education, research and innovation. This parcel, consisting of 50 developable acres and 100 acres of protected Greenbelt lands valued at $50 million, was donated to Laurier by the Town of Milton to help facilitate the creation of a post-secondary site in the community.

“On behalf of the entire community, I am thrilled to congratulate Wilfrid Laurier University on their successful proposal to build a STEAM-focused, post-secondary site in Milton,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “In a world of life-long learning, the Milton Education Village is a game-changer for our community and we couldn’t have better partners than Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College.”

Building on the successful partnership between Laurier and Conestoga in Brantford, the expansion to Milton will replicate the delivery of innovative programming, improved student pathways and the seamless provision of student services.

“We appreciate the Government of Ontario’s investment in the Laurier-Conestoga partnership in Milton,” said Conestoga College President John Tibbits. “We look forward to working with our academic, industry and government partners to deliver relevant, accessible, career-focused learning programs that support the needs of the community, contribute to personal and professional success, and contribute to economic growth for the region.”

Laurier plans to enrol its first students in September 2019 in leased space, with a new building projected to open for the 2021-22 academic year, ultimately serving over 2,000 students.

“Laurier’s academic programs in Milton – with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – will meet a growing need for science and technology graduates in the innovation corridor between Waterloo Region and Toronto,” MacLatchy said. “Laurier’s strength in delivering integrated and experiential learning opportunities will ensure these graduates will possess the technological skills as well as the critical thinking and humanistic skills needed for a modern knowledge economy.”

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